Lella Umedaly was born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1930 to parents with ancestry in India. They practiced the Ismaili Moslem faith, a sect of the Shia Moslem faith. When Lella told her father as a young girl that she wanted to be a pilot, her father told her that she would be piloting her pots and pans in the kitchen. Indeed she did. Eventually Lella moved to Uganda in East Africa where she married, had five children, became a Montessori schoolteacher and a businesswoman. She educated over 2,000 children in her career. Lella and her family were expelled from Uganda by the infamous Idi Amin in 1972 as part of the expulsion of over 80,000 people of Indian ancestry and came to Canada as a refugee. This cookbook was born as her children and her children's children, missing her special brand of fresh and quick Indian cooking, would call with questions such as "How do you make curries brown?"

Co-authored by Lella S. Umedaly & Muneera U. Spence, self-published Mamajee's Kitchen (Umedaly Publishing, 2007 $29.95) is a fusion of Indian tastes and influences from Africa, India and North America. The recipes are traditional, or variations of the traditional, taking advantage of shortcuts in preparation, low fat alternative ingredients and shorter cooking times for the busy cook. Mamajee's spice cupboard lists necessary spices and how to prepare them. The book includes recipes for appetizers, meat and poultry, seafood, vegetables, rice, breads, pickles, chutneys, desserts and drinks. This full-colour cookbook was designed to inspire those who love Indian cooking. It is distributed by Sandhill Book Marketing. 1-59971-026-9 $29.95

[BCBW 2007] "Cookbook"